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Swaps also can be made as the bike falls out of favor, or is being sold, where the higher quality components are traded for lower quality ones that the owner had onhand.

(Don't all cyclists have boxes and boxes of old components in their garage?

Between 1925 and the cessation of cycle production during the Second World War, letters prefixed or suffixed the running frame number although no indication is given of the starting point of the numbers.

Mountain bike dating

The new system involved a second running letter, added to the first, which began at the start of the alphabet. The character began at the start of the alphabet, and indicated year of manufacture.

Detail about the numerals that follow the alphabet are sketchy, and are presumably sequential serial numbers of some kind.

We also stock all the clothing and accessories you’ll ever need, as well as a wide range of parts and components to keep your bike in tip-top condition.

Plus, shopping with us gives you lots of great benefits like our Price Match Promise, Right Bike Guarantee, Click & Collect, 0% finance and international delivery.

This is the easiest way to date a 3-speed bicycle, if it has its original rear wheel.

Prior to 1925, genuine Raleighs (not necessarily brand names made by Raleigh) had a straightforward numerical frame number. (Info from the Nottinghamshire Archives) Note that the serial number information below is fragmentary and incomplete, and many bikes have proven to be much newer than the serial numbers would suggest.

The company was sold to a group of money manipulators who shut it down in hope of making a quick profit by selling off the assets.

The Taiwanese company Sunrace bought the equipment, stock and rights to the name and is back in business.

We’ve even got a full range of hybrid bikes (perfect for commuting), which includes several folding bikes – ideal if you’re taking the train or you’re short on storage space. Pop into one of our UK bike stores where our friendly staff will help, or use our super handy right bike finder tool.

Or if it’s all about tracks and trails, head to our mountain bikes for a mix of hardtail and full suspension machines.

Most older Sturmey-Archer hubs have two or three-letter model codes, which are usually stamped onto the hub shell.

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